Lenten Journey 2020, Day 40 of 40


Friday, April 3, Lenten Journey 2020, Day 40 of 40
Every journey begins with a single step but not all end in such a solitary manner. Some journeys are but a few steps inside a longer travel toward a broader destination. So it is with the Lenten Journey: an annual trek which revitalizes and strengthens our resolve to walk the Journey of Life. The 40 days of Lent have come and gone this year, but not without incident. This Journey was marred by a pandemic which brought the world to its knees. We have been humbled by the menace that this virus can bring. With the lessons of this Journey fresh in our minds and in our hearts we understand that coming to our knees before God is not out of fear; rather, we acknowledge the power of good over evil and how we, His Creations, are invited to create and articulate our life – as an individual and collectively for the community. We find the beauty of life the expressions of love and care amidst the horrors. The last stop in the Lenten Journey is to understand that Worship – Sunday-to-Sunday, day-to-day – is our personal commitment to the lessons of these 40 days. Through Jesus Christ, we are reconciled with God and all of Creation. Life is in our hands and God is with us always.


Lenten Journey 2020, Day 39 of 40

Thursday, April 2 – Lenten Journey 2020, Day 39 of 40

The Church has given us the Lenten Season. The Church – the Body of Christ – has held our hand through the Lenten Journey and the time is coming for us to let go. Life is ahead, ready for us and we for it. When asked who he considers as his family, Jesus answers, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:21) We are called to a life of activity, to not only hear but to do the word of God. Find the ending of the Lenten Journey as it winds its way into your life. Tally the blessings granted to you and find wonder in the miracles that are around you.


Lenten Journey 2020, Day 38 of 40


Wednesday, April 1, Lenten Journey 2020, Day 38 of 40
 Loving God and loving neighbor means that ego, the self, must be parked conveniently out of the way for us to properly share our love with others. Selflessness and sacrifice are words which describe our condition when selfish motives are removed from our lives to allow for purer love for others. Jesus Christ gives us the ultimate example of selflessness and sacrifice as he accepts the Cross. Our crosses – physical, financial, relationships, spiritual –  are heavy but we bear them because we have found a new strength through our prayers, fasting and walking through the Lenten Journey. Our perception has changed and with a new heart we understand and are ready to accept Jesus’ words, “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.” (John 26-27)


Lenten Journey 2020, Day 37 of 40


Tuesday, March 31 –  Lenten Journey 2020, Day 37 of 40
Loving God and loving neighbor is now a simple test for our actions. In fact, of the hundreds of laws and regulations we read in the Old Testaments, and of the 10 Commandments given in Scripture, loving God and loving neighbor become what is necessary to live according to God’s will. As we draw near to the Lenten Journey, we realize that life is meant to be lived. Dreams are meant to be turned into reality. Happiness and joy are God-inspired and God-given, through the life we breathe, the experiences we share and the joy we live. As the Wise Men traveling toward Bethlehem, “When they saw that the star had stopped they were overwhelmed with joy” (Matthew 2:10) our joy begins for our Journey is ending but we have discovered Life.

Lenten Journey 2020, Day 36 of 40


Monday, March 30 – Lenten Journey 2020, Day 36 of 40
The Sunday of Advent brought with it a message of eternity grounded in the here and now. In the Bible reading of the day Jesus proclaims the greatest commandment, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)  We are in the last week of the Lenten Journey and this most fundamental message is proclaimed as a prize for our fasting and prayers. It is the basis for all we do in life and is the key that unlocks the doors to success and happiness. Love God and your neighbor.

Lenten Journey 2020, Day 35 of 40


Sunday, March 29 – Lenten Journey 2020, Day 35 of 40
 The last Sunday of the Lenten Season is designated as “Advent” Sunday, where the Second Coming of Jesus is the theme. From Apostolic times, the Second Coming has been anticipated by the Church. In the Nicene Creed, each Sunday we remember that Jesus is “to come … to judge the living and the dead.” However, Jesus himself cautions us to not be consumed with dates and signs. “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32) The day is filled with its own challenges and looking to future events only distracts from our duties today. The Lenten Journey is accomplished by steps taken in the moment.

Lenten Journey 2020 Day 34 of 40


Saturday, March 28 – Lenten Journey 2020 Day 34 of 40
Amidst the Lenten Journey are occasions to reflect on those who have traveled before us. Today the Armenian Church commemorates St. Gregory the Illuminator’s imprisonment (289-301 AD) in a place we now refer to as “Khorvirab.” Stories such as this are wrapped in their historical parameters. Their value is that they talk to us – to each generation in its own times. Today as a world, we are imprisoned by the effects of a pandemic which takes us into a pit of despair, hopelessness and even death. The story of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s 13 year imprisonment teaches the value of discipline, prayer and hope in the Lord – the same ingredients to overcome our own and collective prisons. Jesus instructs that certain evils can “Only be overcome by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29)


Lenten Journey 2020 Day 33 of 40


Friday, March 27 – Lenten Journey 2020 Day 33 of 40
Day 33 of the Journey signals a change in perception. We come to realize that change has come from within – it is called “transformation.” In this process the goal remains unaltered, but we have changed. Peace and harmony with our sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, children, parents, neighbors and yes, with the world are in our spiritual cross-hairs and we know that we are now the instruments by which change comes. This has been a process – a journey – and while we’re nearing the end of it, we realize that we are outfitting ourselves with the tools for life.  “To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)


Lenten Journey 2020 Day 32 of 40


Thursday, March 26 – Lenten Journey 2020 Day 32 of 40
In the quiet solitude of our prayer space we listen for God to speak to us. Do not be afraid to open all of your senses to God. As the Lenten Journey moves forward we build on the lessons of the days passed. The laughter of a young child, the delicate pedals of a flower shining against the sun, the midst of the ocean wave spraying our skin, or the sight of stars spread over the sky are all signs from God. As scripture reminds us that “Though we speak much we cannot reach the end, and the sum of our words is ‘He is the all.’” (Sirach 43:27) Look, feels, smell, taste and hear God around you.


Lenten Journey 2020 Day 31 of 40


Wednesday, March 25 –
Prayer is a conversation with God. There are different ways of conversing. For instance, a discourse is a one-way conversation intended to deliver information. A diatribe is the same but delivered with emotion. Debate is a two-way conversation with a goal of winning an argument or convincing another on your position. But a dialogue is a two-way conversation which builds a relationship because the parties are listening as much as speaking. What type of conversation are you having with God? Are you building a relationship with Him? To do so, talk and listen.